Thread Lift

A thread lift is a type of procedure wherein temporary sutures are used to produce a subtle but visible “lift” in the skin.

What is a thread lift?

A thread lift is a procedure in which temporary sutures produce a subtle but visible “lift” in the skin. Instead of using plastic surgery to remove a patient’s loose skin, the doctor suspends it by stitching up portions. This has the effect of pulling the skin and lifting and tightening the face. In addition to being ideal for lifting the skin, the threads fight aging differently: triggering the body’s “healing response” and making the body create collagen in the treated areas. This is important because of collagen’s vital role in the aging process.

Collagen helps support “growth factors” that significantly affect the condition of our skin. Collagen is used for wound healing and helps keep our skin firm, voluminous and flexible. As we age, our bodies gradually produce less and less collagen, leading to an 80% reduction in skin thickness after 70 years. This loss of volume and strength is a significant factor in creating excess skin and wrinkles. As the skin weakens, it can no longer appropriately withstand the tissues underneath, meaning gravity throws it down and stretches. Infusing the skin of the face with new collagen when the signs of the skin laxity are still mild can increase firmness and prevent it from deteriorating (when strengthening the skin).

This process provides continuous and progressive rejuvenation for facial tissues. Patients with a thread lift to boost collagen will notice a gradual improvement in the tone and firmness of their skin. While its threads are in place, the body’s healing response will be constantly activated as the body wants to “heal” the sutured areas and expel the stitches. The body is biologically programmed to react this way when it detects any foreign object in the dermis. Fortunately, the threads placed under the skin during a thread lift are so tiny that the patient will not feel them. Most people cannot handle their sutures once the skin around them has healed.

What are the Benefits of having a Thread Lift instead of a Facelift?

A facelift is an invasive surgical procedure.  The primary benefit of having a thread lift is the significantly reduced recovery time. A patient needs to go through heavy sedation and requires around the clock assistance from a caregiver for at least three days post-surgery for a facelift. Patients need to take off work for at least two weeks for healing.

In comparison, a thread lift is a much easier procedure. There is only local rather than general anesthesia. After treatment, the patient may experience some soreness, redness, and swelling, but most can go back to work immediately.  

Thread lifts are non-invasive, so they are safer and have a low risk of complications. There is virtually no scarring or severe bruising like a facelift.

Because the procedure is less complicated, a thread lift is much more affordable than a facelift.

Thread lifts are ideal for patients experiencing mild to moderate, rather than severe, signs of skin laxity.

eyebrow thread lift before and after
Thread lift before and after
Thread Lift Before and After

Difference between NovaThreads and Silouette InstaLift

Two brands have been FDA approved for lifting facial tissue, NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift.


NovaThreads are sutures that are made from a biocompatible material called PDO. PDO has been specially designed for safe re-absorption by the body.  After treatment, the NovaThreads stay in the skin for four to six months, slowly dissolving.  Patients can expect to see results for a year or more after the treatment. The long-lasting effects are caused by the collagen infusion created by the thread lift.

NovaThreads come in a few varieties: Barbed sutures, which are ideal for gathering skin and producing more lifting action, and straight or curved smooth sutures, which are suitable for collagen stimulation.  Barbed sutures are usually placed near the hairline to gently pull back the skin and lift the cheeks and jowls.  Smooth or curved sutures are placed around the face to target common skin aging areas.

Silhouette InstaLift

Silhouette Instalift threads

The threads of the Silhouette InstaLift are designed somewhat differently than NovaThreads.  Rather than being barbed or smooth, they contain several sutures interspersed with tiny “cones” that grab the tissue.  NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift threads rely on biocompatible temporary sutures to lift the face.  Silhouette InstaLift is more focused on lifting the skin than stimulating collagen production, although both will accomplish lifting and collagen production.  Patients can expect the benefits of the Silhouette InstaLift to last one to three years.


Thread lifts are low-risk non-invasive treatments that boast short recovery time.  To get the best of your thread lift, we recommend pairing it with a non-invasive laser skin rejuvenation treatment that contributes to long-lasting collagen production. By combining both treatments, patients can achieve excellent results and a positive change to their appearance without having to do invasive procedures like a facelift.

Q & A for our Thread Lift Toronto Clinic

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